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ICC Note: In this opinion editorial, Dr. Michael Youssef expresses his belief that slowly but surely religious liberty is being eradicated in the United States. According to Dr. Youssef recent court decisions involving gay marriage appear to be the primary challenge to the future of religious liberty in the U.S., especially for Christians.
8/30/2013 United States (Charisma) – During the late 1960s, I escaped from the socialist dictatorship of Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt. Back then, everything I had read about freedom in America was almost too good to be true. So when I finally made it to the U.S., I considered myself one of the most blessed people in the world.
But now fast forward to 2013. Today, I am in mourning over the events that are eroding our freedom of speech and religious liberties. Slowly but surely, they are becoming things of the past. And while they slip away, the mainstream media parrots the official government line instead of advocating for those freedoms. They have become the water carriers for the ruling class.
I often wonder if majority rule even works in America anymore.
Take the case of California Proposition 8 where the majority voted against same-sex marriage, and yet a handful of unelected judges overturned the will of the people.
More recently, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled on August 22 that a commercial photographer violated New Mexico’s anti-discrimination law when she refused to take pictures of a gay couple’s commitment ceremony.
Was it not enough that the photographer had lost money because of her personal religious conviction? Was it not enough that her business suffered because of that conviction? No. New Mexico’s highest court had to make her suffer further with a possible fine and imprisonment.
And for what cost? Her religious conviction has been smashed like cheap glass. The power of the elite has no room today for individual freedoms.
And don’t even get me started on military chaplains who would risk fines or their jobs if they dared to uphold biblical truth or express the very essence of their Christian faith.
When the powerful compel people to do things against their conviction, then the America of the founding fathers—the American that I read about while a boy in Egypt—has evaporated into a fog of elitism and political correctness.
A Rasmussen poll indicated that 85 percent of Americans support the right of the New Mexico photographer to stand by her convictions. But do people’s opinions matter in this age of ruling by executive orders and decrees from the bench? No, because for the most part, the people are asleep and will not stand up for themselves beyond voicing an opinion.

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